Google Is Near Closing Its China Site

Google (GOOG) appears increasingly likely to shutter its Chinese-language search engine, a step that would remove one of the last major foreign players from the world’s most populous and fastest-growing Internet market.

A person familiar with situation said on Saturday that Google is likely to take action within weeks. Separately, Chinese authorities on Friday told local news Web sites that Google’s Chinese site is likely to close and that, if it does, the news sites will be required to use only official accounts of the situation, rather than publish their own stories, according to a person familiar with the order.

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